Some athletes who were at the Military World Games in Wuhan back in October 2019 claim ‘everyone was sick’ with symptoms reminiscent of COVID-19, two months before the first confirmed case.
The novel coronavirus was first reported in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, with an investigation from early January.
It then spread to Europe with the first confirmed cases in Italy on February 20.
However, there are some suggestions from athletes who took part in the Military World Games that the virus was present as early as October 2019.
That tournament took place in Wuhan from October 17-27, 2019.
“We all got sick, six out of six in our apartment, and we also heard from many other delegations who got ill too,” Olympic gold medallist fencer Matteo Tagliariol told La Repubblica.
“The medics there had almost run out of supplies, Valerio Aspromonte stayed in bed almost the whole time. I had a fever and cough for three weeks and antibiotics did nothing. Then it spread to my son and my girlfriend.
“I am not a doctor, but the symptoms looked like those of COVID-19. I was struggling to breathe and fortunately it went after three weeks.”
Similarly, French pentathlete Elodie Clouvel also told Loire7 that she’d had a similar experience.
“I think Valentin Belaud and I had coronavirus, because we were in Wuhan for the Military Games. We got sick, he missed three days of training and I experienced something I’d never felt before.
“When we talked to a military medic recently, he told us: ‘I think you already had it, because most of the delegation who went to Wuhan got sick.’”
However, the Ministry for Defence in Paris denied any cases of COVID-19 at the event.
Aspromonte, who was named by Tagliariol as being ‘in bed the whole time’, insisted he was merely “tired and suffering from jet-lag.”